Cigars

Former NFL Safety Ken Hamlin and La Aurora Release The Arrival

Jun 24, 2020 | By Chris Esposito
Former NFL Safety Ken Hamlin and La Aurora Release The Arrival
Photo/James D. Smith/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images
Ken "The Hammer" Hamlin (26), who has joined forces with La Aurora for The Arrival, calls a defensive audible for the Dallas Cowboys in 2008.

Making your presence known can come in many forms. For Ken “The Hammer” Hamlin, former NFL safety, it’s no longer lighting up wide receivers across the middle of a football field. Instead, it will be lighting up The Arrival, Hamlin’s new cigar made in collaboration with Manuel Inoa of La Aurora Cigars.

Hamlin played defensive back for the Seahawks, Cowboys, Colts and Ravens over eight years, snagging a Pro Bowl delegation in 2007. Towards the middle of his career, however, he stopped at a gas station and picked out the humidor’s most expensive cigar: a Padrón 1964. Since that first smoke, his passion for hand-rolled cigars grew until he ended up at the ProCigar Festival in the Dominican Republic where he met La Aurora’s master blender, Manuel Inoa.

The Arrival

Hamlin’s “eye-opening” experience made him want to create his own cigar. He returned to Santiago a month later and met with Inoa. After going back and forth more than a dozen times, they came up with a blend they found ideal. Hamlin even says he rolled about 30 of them himself–until he “left it to the professionals.”

Lawyers initially dismissed early suggestions for naming the cigar like “The Hammer” or “El Martillo” (hammer in Spanish), so Hamlin came up with The Arrival. He related it to his motto of always showing up and making his presence known, much like his idol Deion “Prime Time” Sanders had taught him.

The Arrival

“I say, ‘Smoke well, look good.’ Almost like Deion would say, ‘Look good, play good. Play good, get paid good,’” Hamlin said.

The Arrival is expected to roll out this July. Hamlin described it as a medium- to full-bodied cigar with Nicaraguan wrapper over Dominican, Brazilian and Nicaraguan tobaccos. The cigar will come in a 5 inch by 50 ring gauge Robusto, 6 by 50 Toro and 6 by 52 Grand Toro, and will sell between $10 and $12. Hamlin will soon be taking The Arrival on the road to open retailers across the southern United States.

Hamlin isn’t the first athlete to make his own cigars. The hard-hitting Ray Lewis released his Legends 52 by Rocky Patel in 2015, ex-Yankee slugger Gary Sheffield has his own Rocky Patel HR 500 By Gary Sheffield cigars, and David Ortiz has his Big Papi stick in collaboration with Tabacalera El Artista. There are also the La Aurora Barrel Aged by Karl Malone and M.X.S. signature cigars from former NBA stars Dominique Wilkins and Tiago Splitter, among others from athletes that have gravitated from the sports world to the world of fine, handmade cigars.

Dominican Republic La Aurora La Aurora S.A.

More in Cigars

See all
Winter In July From Rocky Patel

Winter In July From Rocky Patel

Rocky Patel is in for a busy summer as it plans on releasing a number of new smokes and bringing back …

Jul 2, 2020
Crowned Heads and Tabacalera Pichardo To Release Mil Días

Crowned Heads and Tabacalera Pichardo To Release Mil Días

Over the course of 1,000 days, Crowned Heads and Tabacalera Pichardo in Nicaragua crafted the new …

Jul 1, 2020
Falto Celebrates 25 Years With La Pureza

Falto Celebrates 25 Years With La Pureza

The small company, located in Puerto Rico, turned 25 years old in March. To celebrate the milestone, …

Jun 30, 2020
16 Mild Cigars that Even Occasional Smokers Will Enjoy

16 Mild Cigars that Even Occasional Smokers Will Enjoy

While it’s tempting to choose a strong smoke, milder cigars can be just as enjoyable. We compiled a …

Jun 24, 2020
Limited Henry Clay War Hawk Rebellious Debuting in July

Limited Henry Clay War Hawk Rebellious Debuting in July

Following the successful launch of last year’s Henry Clay War Hawk, Altadis is adding a limited-editi…

Jun 23, 2020
Value-Priced Fratello Camo Bundles Head to Stores

Value-Priced Fratello Camo Bundles Head to Stores

Fratello Cigars has begun shipping its new Fratello Camo Bundles, a trio of value-priced smokes that …

Jun 17, 2020